It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be very stressful.
Where I grew up in Western Uganda, Christmas is all about large family gatherings and food – a seemingly endless supply of food and drinks, but never the exchange of presents.
But since I have called Regina home for almost a decade now, I have assimilated quite a bit into the Canadian tradition of exchanging presents at Christmas. When In Rome and all that. Mind you, it doesn’t mean I’m good at it.
I find it quite stressful guessing at what family and friends expect from me for presents. This is why I love kids. You can ask them what they want and they’ll tell you. And you can negotiate with them (No. That’s too expensive!)
Adults on the other hand aren’t always forthcoming. They tell you they’ve got everything they need but really they do expect something (Surprise me!)
If you are a procrastinator like myself and have yet to conquer that Christmas shopping list, here are a couple of suggestions for unusual holiday gifts from right here in Saskatchewan.
1. Give the gift of REST
Float houses are rapidly becoming popular across Canada and in Saskatchewan as well. A quick google search turns up three Spas in Regina’s downtown alone.
REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, works on the principle of sensory deprivation.
This is how it works. You get locked up in a pitch black tank filled with salty, body-temperature water, wearing nothing else (OK maybe a swim suit) but earplugs. Sounds terrifying, right? Wrong! From what I’ve heard from those that have floated, it is a deeply relaxing experience. And if you buy someone you love a gift certificate to one of these spas, they’ll tell you all about their floatation therapy experience. It’s a win win really.
2. Locally made one-of-a-kind jewelry
Saskatchewan is an arts and crafts hub. We have some really wonderful artists making unique pieces. Some, like Regina jewelry artist Megan Hazel, will work with you to design something that can’t ever be replicated. Megan can also take your old jewelry rings that don’t fit anymore, and give them new life in the shape of another piece of jewelry like a necklace or earrings.
3. Give the gift of art
Almost anyone can take a selfie these days, which has kind of ruined portrait photography in a way. But how cool would it be to have the likeness of your loved one captured on canvas? You can commission a local artist to paint a portrait of your loved one or something else symbolic like your favourite wedding photo. I know one Saskatchewan artist, Brandi Hofer, who can work off of photographs. But I think it would also be really amazing to sit for a painter, to get to be a muse for an hour or two, and see how the work turns out. It’s a timeless gift and experience, and there’s certainly no shortage of artists/painters in Saskatchewan to make this happen.
Thank you for reading,